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Filling UV Space vs Texel Density

DustyShinigami
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DustyShinigami polycounter lvl 4

Hi

I was wondering if I could get some advice when it comes to UV unwrapping. I know both texel density and filling up as much space as possible are equally important, however, if you have a mesh/unwrap that's awkward, and there's little chance of filling up all the space, what would be the best approach? I'm kind of in a situation where my texel density is nice and equal thanks to Maya's Transform Tools in the UV Editor.

The mesh in question is a simple pair of trousers. And I've made the cuts where they would be, or rather - where I made the stitching/parts in Marvelous Designer. So it doesn't make a lot of sense cutting it up further. The texel density is nice and even between everything, but there's still a lot of empty space. There isn't any specfic part of these trousers that will receive more detail or focus over anything else.

What would (or should) be the right approach here? Sould I scale up some of those parts further to fill in the space? Leave it as it is so long as everything is even? Or (heaven forbid!) cut it up further? The final mesh will be for a game-ready character and will be put into engine, though it's for a potential portfolio piece.

Thanks

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  • Kanni3d
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    Kanni3d ngon master

    If the above is your pack, you can get a LOT more resolution. Since all panels are equally visible, keep its texel density equally sized for all shells would be ideal. Pack the four leg panels as well as you can, and try to manually fit a spot for the pockets/belt lining in there somewhere - even if it means flipping some islands. I sense that you can much more resolution this way due to the tapered nature of the uvs.


  • DustyShinigami
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    DustyShinigami polycounter lvl 4

    So, just to double check - I should flip the ones you've highlighted due to their tapered nature...? I'm not quite sure I follow regarding manually fitting a spot for the pockets/belt lining somewhere. The only things I have related to those are at the bottom - the long rectangle is the belt lining, or the area of the trousers where the belt goes around, and the two small pieces on the bottom left are the only areas for the pockets.

  • Kanni3d
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    Kanni3d ngon master

    Try flipping them since they will pack nicer and give for resolution is all I'm getting at

  • DustyShinigami
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    DustyShinigami polycounter lvl 4

    Okay. So in a situation like this, texel density consistency is more important than filling in as much of the UV space?

  • poopipe
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    poopipe grand marshal polycounter

    Arguably Tezel density is of lesser importance when dealing with a character mesh since they tend to stand alone and any difference between the character and other assets is less obvious

    However.

    If you're making modular parts, Tezel density discrepancies will be more obvious and your end result will look sloppy and shit.


    In this case - use a rectangular texture?

  • Kanni3d
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    Kanni3d ngon master

    Agree ^ But also I'm assuming the texel density in question was with other materials on the same character. Maybe there's another material like skin, or a long sleeve shirt - wouldn't want the TD to be wildly different, giving you blurry pants and super sharp shirt textures.

  • poopipe
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    poopipe grand marshal polycounter

    Yeah - that's what I meant and failed to articulate (modular character parts)

  • gnoop
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    gnoop polycounter

    20 years ago it all was about details priority. A character face would have twice of pants texel size. A signature /decal on a wall twice of wall texel size especially if the wall is something plain colored. So it was pretty much otherwise and honestly that "priority" approach still have its value. In mobile games for sure.

    Whatever huge texture budget modern games may have a texture covering more space , repeating in longer intervals would always look better and more natural. Whatever smart blending techniques you would use. And playing with texel size may give you some advantages . Having a bit stretched texels for a road for example. So don't make a dogma from the texel size . It's also a tool . Like many other things.

    At the same time be ready that having not equal texel size would make you problems . If your shaders do simple scaling math from same UV for detail layers for example. The soft like Substance Painter would always try cause you pain if your textures are not square and UV islands are not perfectly in same scale . Not impossible but always come with a price.

    Still when you have an advertisement billboard next to a road for example having slightly smaller texel size than its backside where you also need to squeeze in some other uv islands is totally ok IMO. Especially vs creating extra texture files. UDIM or not. Unless you are ok with slightly blurry look on both sides. Or when an equal texel size resolution doesn't allow you to bake good enough normal map for a few small details without multiplying UDIMs uncontrollably and keeping them half empty.


    But since modern gamedev is very much like this , and further parts of the clip too : )


    equal texel size would definitely save you from lots of extra painful thinking while providing decent mediocre okish look.

  • Neox
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    Neox veteran polycounter

    "20 years ago it all was about details priority. A character face would have twice of pants texel size."

    this is still very much the case in some productions, dependent on the focus of things. if first person view is not a seperate texture set or stuff like post match animations focus on the face, it very often is:

    hands over head, over upper body, over lower body in terms of texel density, maybe to 100% more but certainly weighted towards those areas then.

  • ZacD
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    ZacD ngon master

    Cinematics often have close ups of faces, hands, weapons, and certain props. As games have gotten higher resolution textures, it has become harder to notice mismatched texel density except when looking for it, but it definitely still exists.

  • DustyShinigami
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    DustyShinigami polycounter lvl 4

    Thanks for all the insightful replies. :)

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